It's only cold mashed potatoes laced with olive oil, lemon, and tons of raw garlic, but scordalia ($4) is one of humanity's greatest inventions. At Scouna, a new Cretan taverna in the frigid northern reaches of Astoria's Hellenic Kingdom, it can be matched with several dipping vehicles. When we asked what they use in Crete, our waitress suggested fried zucchini or fried eggplant, then kindly assembled a combination ($6) cooked in a light batter. The eggplant was especially ethereal, without a trace of bitterness. A dab of scordalia also accompanies bacalao ($13)—not the fibrous fritters of Portuguese or Caribbean provenance, but four huge planks of salt cod extensively rehydrated so they almost taste fresh. On subsequent visits we experimented wildly with our scordalia, first dipping well-browned french fries, then thick grilled sausages, and finally spooning it straight into our eager mouths, conscious that we had developed an addiction. Medical note: After a serious scordalia binge, the mouth burns, the eyes water, and the patient becomes unfit to venture within 10 feet of... More >>>